Cover image for Deep Creek : finding hope in the high country
Title:
Deep Creek : finding hope in the high country

Essays. Selections

Finding hope in the high country
Title:
Deep Creek : finding hope in the high country
Personal Author:
Edition:
First edition.
Publisher Info:
New York : W.W. Norton & Company, [2019]
Physical Description:
x, 303 pages : illustrations ; 25 cm
Abstract:
"How do we become who we are in the world? We ask the world to teach us." On her 120-acre homestead high in the Colorado Rockies, beloved writer Pam Houston learns what it means to care for a piece of land and the creatures on it. Elk calves and bluebirds mark the changing seasons, winter temperatures drop to 35 below, and lightning sparks a 110,000-acre wildfire, threatening her century-old barn and all its inhabitants. Through her travels from the Gulf of Mexico to Alaska, she explores what ties her to the earth, the ranch most of all. Alongside her devoted Irish wolfhounds and a spirited troupe of horses, donkeys, and Icelandic sheep, the ranch becomes Houston?s sanctuary, a place where she discovers how the natural world has mothered and healed her after a childhood of horrific parental abuse and neglect.
Personal Subject:

Available:*

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Call Number
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814.54 HOU New or Popular Book Adult Nonfiction
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814.54 HOUS New or Popular Book Adult Nonfiction
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814.54 HOU New or Popular Book Adult Nonfiction
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Summary

Summary

On her 120-acre homestead high in the Colorado Rockies, beloved writer Pam Houston learns what it means to care for a piece of land and the creatures on it. Elk calves and bluebirds mark the changing seasons, winter temperatures drop to 35 below, and lightning sparks a 110,000-acre wildfire, threatening her century-old barn and all its inhabitants. Through her travels from the Gulf of Mexico to Alaska, she explores what ties her to the earth, the ranch most of all. Alongside her devoted Irish wolfhounds and a spirited troupe of horses, donkeys, and Icelandic sheep, the ranch becomes Houston's sanctuary, a place where she discovers how the natural world has mothered and healed her after a childhood of horrific parental abuse and neglect.In essays as lucid and invigorating as mountain air, Deep Creek delivers Houston's most profound meditations yet on how "to live simultaneously inside the wonder and the grief...to love the damaged world and do what I can to help it thrive."


Author Notes

Pam Houston is the author of Cowboys Are My Business and Waltzing the Cat. She teaches at the University of California, Davis, and lives in Colorado.

(Bowker Author Biography)


Reviews 3

Publisher's Weekly Review

Houston (A Little More About Me), a professor of English at UC Davis, brings compassion, a deep sense of observation, and a profound sense of place to essays centered around the 120-acre ranch in the Colorado Rockies that serves as home base in her busy life of travel and academic commitments. Houston's descriptions of ranch routine, which "heals me with its dailiness, its necessary rituals not one iota different than prayer," leads her organically toward graceful, "unironic odes to nature." Intimate but not sensationalized stories of Houston's upbringing in an unstable suburban household with an abusive father and a neglectful, alcoholic mother set off her gratitude for an adult life lived in the midst of a sometimes perilous but beautiful landscape. "Ranch Almanac" entries that alternate with the essays offer delightful appreciations of the ranch's other residents, including wolfhounds, lambs, chickens, and miniature donkeys; its human visitors, including her all-important "wood guy"; and the natural wonders visible there, notably including the Milky Way. Houston's vision finds a solid place among the chronicles of quiet appreciation of the American wilderness, without the misanthropy that often accompanies the genre; her passion for the land and its inhabitants is irresistibly contagious. (Feb.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.


Booklist Review

*Starred Review* Houston's (Contents May Have Shifted, 2012) latest essay collection wields scorching honesty and heartfelt reflection that will certainly be welcomed by her many fans. Channeling Annie Proulx's Bird Cloud (2011), Houston writes of her 120-acre homestead in Creede, Colorado, in bracing prose that brings alive her love of the West as a place of headstrong break-your-heart-blue that captured her soul when she acquired it after the success of her best-seller, Cowboys Are My Weakness (1992). Whether chronicling the threats in wildfire country or the poignant joys and sorrows of life with pets and livestock, Houston firmly establishes herself as a key voice from the rural West. Even more significantly, she writes of the blistering wounds that linger from her childhood, the burden she forever shoulders, carrying that different brand of love for a parent you can't ever trust. Her search for a home to make her own, far from memories and deeply entrenched in the history of the land's pioneer past, took Houston through a literary reckoning that cuts to the bone while offering succor for a shattered youth. Always impressive, Houston is in striking form here. Her talent remains remarkable and her words extraordinarily affecting and effective.--Colleen Mondor Copyright 2018 Booklist


Library Journal Review

Novelist and essayist Houston (Contents May Have Shifted) turns to personal territory in this memoir of more than 20 years of ranch living in Colorado. Practical details, including chores, weather, and isolation are interspersed with chapters on seasonal change and natural beauty. Houston builds an ecosystem of dogs, horses, sheep, chickens, and miniature donkeys among native elk and coyotes, and peoples her wilderness with friends, visiting writers, helpful neighbors, and ranch sitters. Her breathless day-by-day account of a series of wildfires in 2013 that burned thousands of acres, including the mountains and valleys surrounding her land, demonstrate her fervent respect for nature. She also offers tender recollections of difficult topics such as child abuse and grief. Her travels as a teacher and writer to support herself and the ranch help to bring a global range to her observations and experiences. Houston discusses a deeply personal environmentalism that impacts her neighbors, her home, and her worldview. VERDICT Highly recommended as a memoir that combines nature, writing, and personal reflection.-Catherine Lantz, Univ. of Illinois at Chicago Lib. © Copyright 2018. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.


Table of Contents

Ranch Almanac: Buying Hay
Introduction: Some Kind of Callingp. 13
Part 1 Getting Out
The Tinnitus of Truth Tellingp. 19
Ranch Almanac: Stacking Woodp. 31
Retetheringp. 35
Ranch Almanac: Donkey Chasingp. 48
Part 2 Digging In
The Season of Hunkering Downp. 55
Ranch Almanac: Leonidsp. 65
Mother's Day Stormp. 67
Ranch Almanac: Puppyp. 86
A Kind of Quiet Most People Have Forgottenp. 89
Ranch Almanac: Log Chainp. 100
The Sound of Horse Teeth on Hayp. 103
Ranch Almanac: Born in a Barnp. 116
Ranch Archivep. 119
Ranch Almanac: First Warm Dayp. 139
Eating Phoebep. 142
Ranch Almanac: Lambingp. 155
Part 3 Diary Of A Fire
Diary of a Firep. 161
Ranch Almanac: Carving Riversp. 222
Part 4 Elsewhere
Kindnessp. 227
Ranch Almanac: Woolly Nelsonp. 240
Of Spirit Bears, Humpbacks, Narwhal, Manatees and Mothersp. 245
Ranch Almanac: Almanacp. 271
Part 5 Deep Creek
Deep Creekp. 275
Acknowledgmentsp. 301